Tag Archives: Wordpress

One Year Ago

One lovely year later, I have finished 2 whole semesters of my residency and 365 days with WordPress. I am happy to say that my year with WordPress has renewed my love of the digital world in addition to improving my writing skills. Over one hundred posts later, my need to share ideas and stories with everyone else is stronger than ever.

My initial reason for starting this blog was to gain a following for my impending writing career. My first semester at Carlow University provided a cornucopia of insight from those already “in the biz” of writing/publishing. One of the most tiring and necessary aspects of being a writer in the digital age is the need to make a brand for yourself. To have your name mean something in the world before you’re published can give the upper hand when it comes to developing a fan base.

SO, the first step is to sign up for a blog and begin writing–check! While I thought my issue would be that I didn’t have enough discipline to keep up with my blog, I soon found that I couldn’t stop. Not too long after signing up with WordPress I was writing two or three posts a day. I loved it–still do, actually. The insurmountable joy of pressing publish on an idea that you want to share with people who will argue, comment, and contribute is something blogging has made super easy.

In my third residency at Carlow (ending about two weeks ago), the concept of branding and marketing myself as a writer returned with a vengeance. It has never been more important for writers to join online writing communities, build blogs, and create a facebook page to promote the writer behind the books. One of the guest writers, Juilene Osborne-McKnight, expressed this need to blog and facebook, but she made it clear that if you don’t feel you would like blogging, you shouldn’t force yourself. While I agree that you shouldn’t make yourself do anything just for the sake of publicity, it is worth checking it out and trying it before you decide it’s never going to work. Sometimes the most unusual, unexpected things can bring a new perspective and style to your writing. And it guarantees you are going to be writing something, even when you’re stuck in the middle of a story or poem.

Any aspiring writer listening still? Go ahead sign up, it’s free, and you may find it is more helpful than just reading blogs about writing. Try writing a blog of your own 🙂

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The Internet Strikes Back!

Like the Empire striking back in Star Wars, the internet is preparing for the battle to end all battles.  In response to the SOPA and PIPA Act, websites are shutting down tomorrow to show their disapproval of the U.S. legislation. The two acts hope to regulate the many avenues of the internet, which allow for piracy online.

Although I am dedicated to being a consumer, buying products fair and square, the legislation feels moot. To me, it’s like trying to control air. Not only has the internet become a medium that the entire world rely upon, but it is not something tangible. You can’t hold the internet in your hand. I don’t even think it has a fail safe switch that we can just shut off if Skynet took over one day.

There is another problem in addition to the insane task of regulating something that we cannot physically touch.  The legislation addresses the freedom of speech in a subtle way. To most people, the idea of stopping piracy is great. It seems straightforward that the acts stop counterfeit goods and protect intellectual property.

But where do we draw the line in regulating the freedom to share ideas, pictures, and videos almost instantaneously? If it starts with piracy, where will it go? As a writer, you would think I would love the idea of my writing being protected if I decided to make it into an e-book. It would comfort me, but instead I’m afraid at where the regulations of the internet will impair me. Will it stop this website from allowing regular people to blog about their lives? Will it stop me from purchasing a domain name for my books because  the site isn’t within the regulation?

These fears are just scratching the surface of the issue SOPA and PIPA are creating. The internet is the future of humanity’s advancement. Do you think we should allow this to happen? Or should we let the internet bloom and prosper as the users regulate it ourselves?

 

I will return on Thursday as WordPress is doing its duty and shutting down at 12:00 am Wednesday Jan. 18, 2012. If you want to read about the blackout refer to this article:

http://socialmediatoday.com/rania299/430653/wikipedia-wordpress-1500-sites-blackout-tomorrow-protest-sopapipa

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